Thank you to all our supporters

Since posting the news that the CCRC have referred the pickets’ convictions to the Court of Appeal we have been overwhelmed with messages of support and congratulations from our trade union, trades council and CLP affiliates.

Some of the pickets and campaign committee members, December 2019. Back Row (L-R) Mark Turnbull, Terry Renshaw, Kevin Butcher, Michael Pierce, John Bohanna and Joe Sim. Front row: Ann Dobie, John McKinsie Jones, Eileen Turnbull and Harry Chadwick.

The Shrewsbury 24 Campaign want to pay tribute to the eight pickets who have consistently pursued this case through to the end. We have had many setbacks over the years not least the CCRC turning down the case on three occasions and a judge’s refusal in March 2018 to grant us permission to proceed with a judicial review. These were very difficult times but, despite this, the eight never gave up. They have maintained for over 46 years that they were innocent of any crime and they wanted justice. Their principled determination has ensured that we now have the opportunity to appeal the convictions at the Court of Appeal.

We have had a number of queries about the CCRC’s press release. Sadly, two of the original ten applicants, Ricky Tomlinson and Arthur Murray, withdrew from the campaign in autumn 2017 after the CCRC had turned down the applications.  Their view was that they had no confidence in getting justice from the courts and would not put their names to the judicial review proceedings.  After we succeeded in court on 30 April 2019, we invited them to reconsider and join us in the new submission to the CCRC but again they refused to participate. This was a great disappointment both to the campaign and the pickets as we stood by the trade union principle, United We Stand.

A number of the pickets wanted to express their thanks to all involved and those that have given support to the Campaign along the way.

This is fantastic news – well done to all involved! Many thanks to you and Harry and all those that put in the hard yards to get this far.

Many thanks

Nick (Des Warren’s eldest son)

I will never be able to thank the Campaign enough for all the hard work and commitment that you have put into our case. Myself and my family look forward to the day when our names are cleared.

John McKinsie Jones

This is an unbelievable result and one that I thought that I would never see. We were treated very badly in 1973 and I have lived with my conviction for over forty years. It was a miscarriage of justice which needs to be put right.

Michael Pierce

I am absolutely that our case has now been referred back to the Court of Appeal. I never doubted that the Campaign would do it because you were so determined and worked so hard over many years to achieve justice for us all.

Kevin Butcher

I cried when Eileen rang me on Wednesday to tell me the news. I have been campaigning for over 14 years to clear our names. It was the proudest day of my life to be able to speak with my fellow pickets that day and let them know that we were now going to the Court of Appeal.

Terry Renshaw

The Campaign Chairperson, Harry Chadwick, who was a former building worker who took part in the strike in 1972 and has supported the Shrewsbury pickets struggle for justice ever since said,

We have achieved this success against the odds with the commitment of the Campaign Committee and the support of the trade unions. Myself and other Committee members have travelled throughout the country to speak at meetings large and small. We have always been heartened by the warmth and generosity of the trade unionists and Labour Party members that we have met and I want to thank you all.

I also want to pay tribute to our Researcher and Secretary, Eileen Turnbull. It was her painstaking efforts over many years in searching high and low for evidence about the case that led to the discovery of the crucial documents that form the basis of the appeal that is set out in the CCRC’s press release.  

Eileen Turnbull – Secretary

Harry Chadwick – Chairperson

9 March 2020